Karen and Jackie take on the Caledon-Lakeside Ride

A Great Lakes to Greenbelt Cycling Adventure.

We set out to do the Caledon Lakeside Loop. We started our ride from Jackie’s home in Burlington so we intentionally added a few kms to the loop.

The Caledon-Lakeside Ride showcases the Mississauga and Oakville waterfront, the Greenbelt route between Georgetown and Caledon and the Etobicoke Creek Trail. At 173 kilometres, it is recommended as a two-day ride with an overnight in Georgetown.

Day One

The first part of the ride up through Oakville out into the country was great if getting some kilometres in is the only goal.

The hills, in my opinion, were the saving grace; some challenging terrain to keep it interesting. Granted, we didn’t stop and check out the Limehouse Conservation Area along the way but we also were trying to manage our time (in order to make it to our overnight before it got dark).  I know that Limehouse Conservation Area is a beautiful hiking spot, but I didn’t want to leave the bike to go off course.

A quick calculation at this junction told us we could take a quick diversion and push out to the nearby town of Acton. We decided on arriving in Acton to take a quick 30 minutes to have a drink and a snack,  that way we could relax knowing we had time to to get back on the route and arrive at our overnight in Georgetown before it got dark.

It’s worth noting that we only had one previous opportunity at about 20 km into the ride (Dundas Street in North Oakville) for coffee and a snack but nothing again until we reached the town Acton. Given the lack of services we would definitely recommend bringing food and snacks along with you.

We set our sights on the Furnace Room Brewery in Georgetown for a drink – we were interested to try the Chicken Man Beer – named after a local man who rode his bike around town with a chicken! We checked into our hotel room at the Best Western and then we were getting picked up to go out for dinner with my daughter. This day was 85+ kms ( remember we started in Burlington and detoured slightly to Acton!)

Having time to reflect on our day, we realized we really didn’t have a chance to talk much-mostly single file riding and definitely no food along the way. Thankfully we packed some snacks  We both agreed would that this day would appeal mostly to experienced or ‘hard core cyclists’.

Day Two

We started our day in Georgetown having coffee with my daughter ( pictured below) and then got back on the route. Also, vowing to make some side trips to see some things in the area and to eat and drink.

The roads on day two just seemed more interesting and even though it was still very hilly we really enjoyed this start. Just before hooking up with the Caledon rail trail we missed a crucial turn due to a missing sign but overall the trail was great, packed gravel that I could manage easily with my road bike (23 mm tires).

We left the trail to check out Spirit Tree Cidery (coffee and a homemade pastry) and to bike past the Cheltenham Badlands.  Both were worth the effort. We went straight up the street from the Badlands and caught the trail again.

The stretch of roads getting to the Etobicoke trail were safe and well marked.

The Etobicoke trail is a definite ‘must do’ for any cyclist. Such an amazing network of trails covering 42 kms. The signage was not always the best so we really relied on the Ride with GPS app with the route.  There are so many places you can pop out and get food and drink, we got a pizza in Brampton that sure hit the spot! There were a couple of closed sections, but that was documented on the app so we were (sort of) prepared.

We just loved biking along the creek, plus the section around the Toronto airport was very cool too.

We stopped at Long Branch and caught the GO train back to Burlington. We were already at 100 km for the day, so to close the circle back to Burlington would have been another 30 km

So, I am not sure if the kms listed (173) is entirely accurate but in total for us with starting from Burlington and visiting Acton our two day ride would have been 210km.

We would totally recommend a detour to Acton before heading to Georgetown on Day One  and then possibly an extra day to ride along the Caledon Trail with maybe an overnight in Brampton.  You could then enjoy a day on the Etobicoke Creek continuing to Long Branch or Port Credit or even Burlington (or Toronto if you want to head the other direction of course.) We feel that this would extend the appeal to cyclists with varying skill and drive.

Had a great time. Would do day 2 again and really appreciated learning about these “new to us” trails!

Check out the Caledon-Lakeside route and download GPS files

Author: Karen Van Weerden